Yoga as a Form of Self-Care

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I’ve noticed that the media has gotten ahold of the term ‘self-care’ and has taken off running with it honey. I’m happy that the conversation around self-care is growing but it’s also important to remember, self-care just doesn’t consist of spa days and getting your nails done but it’s more about developing healthy (and inexpensive) ways to cope with the stressors that’s guaranteed to happen in life. If you’ve haven’t noticed yoga is my form of self-care. For me, yoga takes me to a place no one else can access. Yoga gives me a break from this crazy world and allows me to get my shit together, mentally.

Yoga can be a form of self-care for you too. I’m sure if you’ve never done yoga before your first question would be ‘what is yoga’? In the media yoga has been betrayed as basically stretching. In the religious community, yoga has been portrayed as another form of religion. That could or could not be true, depending on YOUR viewpoint. In short, yoga is whatever you make it. Yoga isn’t a spiritual practice unless you incorporate your own spiritual beliefs into it. Yoga does consist of stretching but there are other aspects involved depending on the type of yoga that’s practiced.

So the first step in using yoga as a form of self care is to ask yourself, “why do I want to start yoga and what am I looking to get out of it?”. Based on your answer you can then research what type of yoga would be best for you to do to meet your needs. There are many different types of yoga

The next step is to, of course, find the type of yoga you would like to start practicing. Below there’s a brief description of the top 8 most common types of yoga.
  •    Hatha yoga: Hatha yoga is a slow paced style of yoga that focuses on controlled breathing and holding postures for a short time. This type of yoga is best for beginners.
  •    Iyengar yoga: This type of yoga is all about alignment and poses are held for a long time. This style uses props such as blocks and straps to perfect the student’s form. This type of yoga is good for people with injuries.
  •    Kundalini yoga: If you’re looking for more of a spiritual experience with yoga this type of for you.  Kundalini focuses a lot on meditation, chanting, and breathing.
  •  Ashtanga yoga: This type of yoga is also known as power yoga. This form a yoga is more for seasoned yogis because it requires a lot of physical demand.
  • Bikram yoga – this type of yoga is a 90 minute class where you move through the same 26 postures. This is a good yoga to start out with but personally I eventually became bored with the repetition.
  •   Yin yoga - targets both the deep connective tissues between the muscles, and the fascia throughout the body. The aim is to increase circulation in the joints and improve flexibility as the poses stretch and exercise the bone and joint areas. It also helps us to regulate the body's flow of energy. This is also a good type of yoga to start out with
  •   Vinyasa yoga: My favorite type of yoga. This is the type of yoga that I teach. This type of yoga essentially means movement synchronized with breath and is a vigorous style based on a rapid flow through sun salutations. Vinyasa yoga is very diverse depending on the studio and the teacher. It can be fast, slow, hot, or warm. There are also different levels within this style of yoga such as beginner to advance.

Regardless of what type of yoga you choose to start out with you want to make sure you find a few teachers that you connect with. If you don’t connect with the teacher or the class it will be very difficult for you to start enjoying yoga. I would suggest even hopping around a few studios to see what you like. I can’t promise yoga will work for you because everyone is different and may need another form of self-care but if you start exploring different options you will eventually find what works best for you. If you have any questions please feel free to comment below.

Love & Light,Dev.

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